Airport extreme old and new and few questions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gugy, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #1
    Hi,
    I have the old Airport Extreme (the shallow one). I am having some issues of dropping signal and range. Is updating to the new Extreme (tall one) going to significantly improve my situation? I wonder before I commit to buy it.

    Also I have a Airport Express and it is set up to extend my range but it still give dead spots around my house where it is primaraly locate. Does anybody know how to proper set it up in conjunction with the Extreme?

    Final question, Can I plug and USB drive and make my Extreme act like time capsule?

    Thanks
     
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #2
    Well I would like to know about this too, as I have an older extreme and am using a AE to extend my range (connected to AEBS using wall adapters).

    I do know you can connect an external drive to your AEBS and use it as a TC as I have been doing that for serval years now.
     
  3. Quahog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    #3
    I've setup a network of Airport Extreme's at my work (which consists of several buildings).

    We have 1 of the older (2011?) Airport Extreme's, 6 of the 2013 airport extremes, and 2 airport expresses.

    I would say there is better range in the 2013 version of the Airport Extreme, ans it has 802.11ac (the 2011 version only has 802.11n).

    So yes, the radio is better in the 2013 version.

    The Airport Express in repeater mode should be in a place where your signal strength is around 50%. Just use an ipad or any device and do a few speed tests and watch the signal strength. If it's too low it wont work well.

    Yes, you can plug in any standard USB external drive into the USB port and access the drive over a network, just like it was a Time Capsule.

    I'd wait before upgrading though.... I think it's due for a refresh soon. (maybe)
     
  4. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #4

    I have not heard of any possible updates. If there is one coming that's good to know. Maybe at WWDC?
     
  5. Quahog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    #5
    I'm thinking maybe WWDC. There's been no rumors. Just feels like it might be "due". (2 years?)
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6
    The new 6th generation Extreme does offer a bit more powerful hardware than the aging flat style models. If you could tell us what generation you have currently it would aid in telling you how much of a difference you will likely see. Apple made 5 generations in the same flat form factor.

    The AirPort Express is not a cure-all to wireless issues. The first thing you need to look at is how much distance and interference there is between the original Extreme and the Express. You want the Express (if wirelessly extending) to have a good connection to the Extreme, but far enough away that the signals don't overlap too much. If at all possible, you should try and run Ethernet from the Extreme to the Express for optimum results.

    How large is your home? Some houses just require multiple hardwired APs due to their size, layout, and build. Those are some factors that you need to investigate coupled with how easily you could run Ethernet. A 1900s farm house or old colonial is going to have a lot more wireless-blocking building materials than a new construction home.

    Finally, the 6th generation Extreme supports USB disks. The new feature is that in the 6th gen. you can use it as a Time Capsule with full Time Machine support. Previously, this was limited to the Time Capsule, but some reported to get it running on an Extreme. File sharing to a USB disk was always supported on the Extreme.
     
  7. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    I am little confused I have a 3rd gen AEBS and I was told that I can't use external USB 3.0 hard drive as TC????

    Thank you :apple:
     
  8. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #8
    Thanks for the info.
    How can you tell the generation of the AE? I looked on the unit and on system profile and could not find it.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    You can either report back with a model number (like A1408) or it is visible in AirPort Utility.
     
  10. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #10
    Ok cool.
    I found it.
    AirPort Extreme 802.11n (1st Generation)

    Thanks!
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11
    You would see quite an improvement not only in range but performance as well.
     
  12. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #12
    If you want range, are you using 5G or 2.4? 2.4, albeit slower, penetrates walls and travels further than 5G. A simple switch to 2.4 may be all you need.

    Re the newer AE:

    I replaced a 2011 AE with the current model. The newer is more powerful but not by much. For range, the above is a far better solution. I did it to get rid of the power brick, and that's about all.

    Recognize that the new AE may not play well with older AEX's. At times you computer name will sprout a (2), or higher, I've been up to 15. Makes file and screen sharing problematic and required me to turn off wake on lan.

    Easy to configure older AEX's on the new AE. Just follow the prompts or read Apple's a Support docs. They extend range fine. I have a large home with plaster walls sheathed on both sides with fairly thick metal. It's a wifi nightmare and we use 2 pre-n AEX's to extend range with the new AE. Works fine other than the computer name issue which I solved with turning off WoL. You may need this functionality, if so, stick to your current setup.
     
  13. gugy, Apr 20, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015

    gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #13
    Good to know. Could I assume I can still keep my old AE to extend my range?
    Thanks

    I'll give a shot with the new AE.
    I am having some AirPlay issues like dropping signal with the AE just 10 feet from my Bowers & Wilkins speakers. I switched the unit few times with manufacturer but I think the culprit might be the AE.
    Also there are couple spots on my home behind fireplace brick walls that there is a dead spot, even though I have an AExpress on the room to extend the range. So hopefully this can help me with these issues.
    Thanks
     
  14. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #14
    I believe the situation is that it is not officially supported, but it works fine. There is another post in this thread that also states use of a USB external drive work fine for TM.
     
  15. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #15
    Just in case, when you drop, check if your computer name sprouted a (2). If that's the case you either have a Yosemite problem or a new AE problem. I'm not sure anyone has nailed the cause of the problem, though there are a ton of theories. Shutting down WoL fixed this for me. But the B&W may need it if your Mac is sleeping

    If no (2), try giving the B&W a static IP address. That solved a ton of connection problems in my place when I started using AEX's. I now have everything on static ip's and my network is now pretty much bullet proof

    If that does not do the trick, perhaps your B&W is at the edges of 2 wifi routers. If I walk through the house with a laptop or iPad and enter what I call no-mans' land, I used to get weird stuff happening. Perhaps the static ip's fixed it. Don't recall. But if you're at the edge this is an area worth pursuing.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #16
    Yes. The old Extreme could extend but not simply "join" the network. Keep in mind that the speeds of the older Extreme are limited by wireless bandwidth. The AirPlay issues could be due to interference or other factors. What generation Express are you using?

    Time Machine on older flat Extremes was always iffy, but a software update by Apple made the functionality available but not nearly as reliable or supported at all like the new Extremes or Time Capsules.
     
  17. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #17
    Thanks!

    Hi my AirPort Express is 802.11n (2nd Generation)
    Thanks
     
  18. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #18
    I have the old flat one (5th gen). It's been working just fine for a few years now. However, I realize not everyone might have a similar experience.
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    Altemose wrote above (re determining which generation of older Airport Extreme):
    [[ You can either report back with a model number (like A1408) or it is visible in AirPort Utility ]]

    My (flat) AE reports:
    Base Station 793eab
    Version 7.6.4

    Which generation is this?
    If the information above is not sufficient to ascertain which generation, exactly where do I find such info?

    Is there a listing somewhere of ALL generations, against which such info can be compared?

    Resolved!
    I opened up an OLD version of Airport Utility (5.5.3), and it reported:
    "Airport Utility found an AirPort Extreme 802.11n (4th Generation)"

    The only reason I was able to come up with this, is because I had purposely saved the older version of Airport Utility.

    I couldn't find any way in the newer (i.e., current) versions of AU by which to give me this report.

    Why does Apple "dumb down" their software like this?
     
  20. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #20
    There is also an Apple webpage that if you put in your serial number (which is shown in the current AirPort Utility) it will give you the model# and generation info.
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #21
    I have noticed that with those you should look about changing the channel manually to one with little interference or roll back the Express firmware to 7.6.1 which appears to be the most reliable in terms of AirPlay functionality.
     
  22. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #22
    Ok I will try that. Thanks for the tip.
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #23
    Report back with the results...
     

Share This Page